Rugby Australia (RA) and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) have announced that they will host a trans-Tasman crossover competition in 2021, to follow their respective domestic Super Rugby tournaments.
The tournament will feature an additional 26 games over six straight weeks, kicking off on Friday, May 14 next year, with a final on Saturday, June 19.
10 Super Rugby teams
The competition will feature all 10 Super Rugby teams with each Australian team to play each New Zealand team in 25 crossover matches before the final.
All teams will play two home games and two away games as well as a ‘Super Round’, where all matches played in Round Three will be played at the one location, over one weekend.
RA and NZR will announce the process to select the location of the ‘Super Round’ in due course.
The final will be played between the top two placed teams on the combined competition table with the team who finished first to host the decider.
Kick-off times, dates and venues will be announced in due course.
RA interim chief executive Rob Clarke said: “This is a truly historic day for Rugby in the southern hemisphere, with the first-ever Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby competition.
“This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“It will be a really exciting new product for our 2021 broadcast partners, Stan and Nine, and I know fans right around the world will be glued to their screens and devices to watch it all.
“The Super Round is also great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza.
“I’d like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us. Bring on 2021!”
🥰 The trans-Tasman relationship is back on. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images) pic.twitter.com/TYv3SBmeFF
— Paul Cully (@paulcullystuff) November 13, 2020
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said: “Super Rugby Trans-Tasman is a great result for fans on both sides of the Tasman and is testament to the strength of the relationship between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia.
“It’s been a testing time for rugby in both countries, but also a chance to reimagine the game in our part of the world for 2021. The result is an exciting and innovative new competition, which will benefit fans, players, broadcasters and Super clubs.
“We all know how special the rivalry between New Zealand and Australia is when it comes to sport and this tournament will add another exciting chapter. The banter between Rob Clarke and I has already begun and I’m sure fans will feel the same.”
2021 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman draw:
Round One – May 14-15
Crusaders v Brumbies
Western Force v Chiefs
Melbourne Rebels v Blues
Highlanders v Queensland Reds
NSW Waratahs v Hurricanes
Round Two – May 21-22
Chiefs v Brumbies
Western Force v Highlanders
Hurricanes v Melbourne Rebels
Queensland Reds v Crusaders
Blues v NSW Waratahs
Round Three (Super Round) – May 28-29
Brumbies v Blues
Hurricanes v Western Force
Melbourne Rebels v Highlanders
Queensland Reds v Chiefs
NSW Waratahs v Crusaders
Round Four – June 4-5
Brumbies v Hurricanes
Crusaders v Western Force
Chiefs v Melbourne Rebels
Queensland Reds v Blues
Highlanders v NSW Waratahs
Round Five – June 11-12
Brumbies v Highlanders
Blues v Western Force
Melbourne Rebels v Crusaders
Hurricanes v Queensland Reds
NSW Waratahs v Chiefs
Final – Saturday, June 19
*draw subject to change